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Patrons Enjoying Library's New Vibe

The recently expanded Newport Beach Central Library includes individual study stations and an enhanced children's area. A cafe and Wifi lounge will be opening soon.

Individual study sessions at the Newport Beach Central Library. (Photo credit NBPL)
Individual study sessions at the Newport Beach Central Library. (Photo credit NBPL)
By Samah Dada

Contemporary architecture, updated work spaces and glass walls are some of the features drawing more people to the recently expanded Newport Beach Public Library.

Completed in May, the Central Library's 17,000 square-foot expansion includes a variety of new features including individual study stations, reading areas and an enhanced children's area. It also encompasses natural light that floods in through glass walls, offering patrons "window-seats" that overlook the newly completed Newport Beach Civic Center, park and the ocean.

"It's magnificent. I love the contemporary architecture," resident Zinat Torres said. "My kids absolutely love coming here now and so do I."

Katherine Mielke, library spokeswoman, said the library expansion was planned with the community in mind.


"Most of the added space was designed for people, rather than collections,"  Mielke said.

Since the expansion was opened to the community, Meilke said many residents, like Natalie Croul, have voiced their appreciation for the new library space.

"The environment is totally different. I'm actually excited to study here for my senior year of high school," Croul said. "I always need a quiet place to study and before I felt like the library was too closed in."


Along with the new amenities, the library also has a new upper level entrance which links the library with the Civic Center Plaza.

"The upper level not only connects beautifully with the Civic Center and Park, [but] it also serves as a stage for community events," Mielke added. "Including the recently held Concerts in the Parks which drew crowds of over 1,700 to the Central Library's front lawn."

Up next at the Central Library, according to Mielke, is a cutting-edge Media Center, a café, and a Wi-Fi lounge. The Media lab will be home to 15 computer stations, 10 Windows and five Macs, each containing a wealth of capabilities including video, animation, 3D modeling, web design and architectural software. 

The library café, which will  be operated by 24 Carrots, is slated to be open to patrons in three to four weeks, serving beverages, snacks, salads and sandwiches.

To handle the increased amounts of library and civic center visitors, a three story, 450-space parking structure has also been added.

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